Happiness is to be found when in pursuit of it, in the soothed expectation, on the way, not only upon the arrival. Accepting detours, just going the way, which is anyhow not this obvious to anyone.
Thomas Bettinelli

Happiness is just a hairflip away.
Chris Crocker


"The way the system works now, you see the clothes, within an hour or so they're online, the world sees them. They don't get to a store for six months. The next week, young celebrity girls are wearing them on red carpets. They're in every magazine. The customer is bored with those clothes by the time they get to the store. They're overexposed, you're tired of them, they've lost their freshness".
Tom Ford



Josef Lazo & Andreas Schmidl made their solo Stockholm Fashion Week début with a steamy collection that veered into camp but also touched on the topic of gender, a major preoccupation at the moment. New as a stand-alone collection on the schedule, the pair who run their made-to-order business out of Frankfurt (where Andreas is based) and Stockholm (home to Jozef) have previously participated in Stockholm Fashion Week as part of a group of Swedish fashion talents, under the category of menswear and no gender. Asked about the latter categorization, Herr Schmidl explained that while theirs is conceived as a menswear brand, it is complementary to the no-gender movement currently being embraced by brands small and large. Indeed, the low-cut metal mesh camisoles worn by some of the models created what can only be described as "free the nipple" moments. The lingerie-style tops were not worn with obvious reference to drag; as the duo mentioned in their notes, their aim was to recontextualize "classics of gay culture", "for the sexual revolution of 2017". "We think", said Andreas Schmidl before the show, "that even straight people these days are open to homoerotic thoughts, so we don't think you need to put it in a niche; for us, it's a cultural code. It's almost like if you would refer to the Renaissance, that's also like referring to homoeroticism; it's just a code, a principle". One that translated into a collection that consciously lacked subtlety : "Everything is obvious, explicit even", the notes read. Overall, the lineup could have benefited from a modicum of mystery -pants with chaps-like cut-outs tend to have more schlock than shock appeal. "I'm very interested in sexuality, but I'm not interested in telling people to have sex", the designer said before the show. "The collection is saying being sexy is a possibility, and I think people are afraid to be sexy". They might also be afraid of the textures (velvet, vinyl), the colors (bright), and the tight fit; then again, they might be inspired. LazoSchmidl, operating on a made-to-order basis at the moment, isn't aimed at a wide audience; its customer is buying mainly underwear and jeans. If at times the collection felt like a self-indulgent parade of models playing dress-up with the wardrobe of a Nineties club kid, there was no denying the happily hedonistic vibe.

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